How to get smoke smell out of plastic electronics

Removing smoke smell from plastic electronics with effective cleaning tips
  Reading time 7 minutes

Smoke odors in plastic electronics are not just unpleasant, they can also signal potential damage to your devices. When smoke—whether from cigarettes or a burnt meal—permeates your electronic devices, removing the smoky residue becomes essential to preserve their functionality and longevity. This guide will offer practical solutions for removing smoke smells from various electronics, ensuring they’re not only clean but also free from the long-term effects of smoke damages. Whether you’re dealing with a recent smoking incident or an old acquisition that came with an unwanted scent, following these steps will help you regain a fresh-smelling gadget.

Understanding Smoke Damage in Plastic Electronics

Cigarette smoke carries a potent mix of chemicals that tend to cling to the outer surfaces of your electronics. The porous nature of plastics makes them quite susceptible to absorbing these offensive odors. But it’s not just about the smell; the compounds in smoke can lead to smoke damages to the internal components as well. Recognizing this and acting swiftly could save your electronic devices from long-term harm. Knowing how to thoroughly cleanse and deodorize your electronics will help ensure that your tech stays in prime condition despite past exposure to smoke.

 How to eliminate smoke odor from plastic electronic devices easily

Pre-Cleanup Safety and Preparation

Before tackling the challenge of removing smoke smells, it’s imperative to prioritize dismantling your device safely. Ensure that all electronics are unplugged and any batteries are removed to prevent electric shock or damage to the devices while cleaning. By doing so, you are safeguarding not just the device but also yourself. Adhering to the device manufacturer’s guidelines is also recommended to avoid voiding warranties or causing accidental damage.

Materials Needed for the Deodorizing Process

The process of removing odors from electronics requires certain materials. To effectively get rid of smoke smells, it’s best to be prepared with the appropriate cleaning supplies. Here’s a list of what you might need:

Isopropyl AlcoholFor cleaning and sanitizing
Soft ClothFor gently wiping down surfaces
Baking SodaFor absorbing odors
White VinegarFor neutralizing odors
Activated CharcoalFor trapping odors
Sealable Plastic BagsFor creating an odor-removing environment

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Smoke Smell from Plastic Electronics

Begin by gently wiping the outer case of your plastic electronics with a soft cloth lightly dampened with a mixture of water and mild detergent or isopropyl alcohol. Avoid any openings or ports to prevent moisture from entering the device. This first step helps remove the soot and ash that may have settled on the device’s surface, which is essential in eliminating the source of cigarette smoke smells.

Deodorizing Techniques

After the initial cleaning, focus on removing odors that have seeped into the plastic. Various household items can be effective in doing so. Consider using one of these methods:

  1. Baking Soda: One of the most efficient absorbents, sprinkle baking soda on and around the electronic (while avoiding direct contact with any openings) and allow it to sit for several hours or overnight.
  2. White Vinegar: Gently wiping the surface with a vinegar solution can help neutralize odors. Be cautious with application quantity and avoid getting moisture into the device.

You could also place the device in a sealable plastic bag with activated charcoal or baking soda for 24-72 hours. These substances are known for their ability to trap and neutralize smells.

 Get rid of smoke scent from plastic electronics using proven methods

Advanced Options for Stubborn Odors

Should the above methods not suffice in removing cigarette smoke odors, you may need to resort to more advanced techniques such as ozone treatment or enlisting the help of professionals who specialize in removing odors from electronics. While doing so might not be the first choice, having a smoke-free device could restore your peace of mind.

Preventing Future Smoke Damage

Once you have successfully got rid of the smoke smell, take preventive measures to avoid future incidents. Utilize device covers and keep electronics away from known smoke sources. For those willing to quit smoking or move their smoking habits outdoors, this could drastically reduce the risk of smoke damage to your electronics.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried the outlined methods and still find that the odors linger, professional services may be necessary. Signs of persistent smoke damage or a decline in electronic performance indicate that expert intervention could be beneficial. Research for reliable experts in your area who have experience in dealing with such specific cleaning and repairing tasks.

 Tips for removing smoke smell from plastic electronic gadgets


Smoke smells in plastic electronics can be a persistent issue, but with the right approach and materials, removing cigarette odors is certainly possible. Whether it’s a gentle wipe-down or the use of household deodorizing agents, these steps will help ensure that your electronics are not only clean but also retain their value and performance. Furthermore, taking preventive steps against future smoke exposure will safeguard your gadgets for the years to come.


Q1: Can smoke smell permanently damage plastic electronics?

A1: While smoke smell itself is less likely to cause permanent damage, the particulate matter and tar from cigarette smoke can lead to corrosion over time if not properly cleaned.

Q2: Is it safe to use water to clean smoke-damaged electronics?

A2: Water should be used sparingly and with great care. Only use a damp cloth on the exterior and avoid direct contact with any electronic components or openings.

Q3: How long does it take to get smoke smell out of plastic electronics?

A3: The duration depends on the severity of the exposure and the method used. Simple cleaning can quickly reduce surface odors, whereas deep-set smells may need longer treatment.

Q4: Can I use the same methods to remove smoke smell from other electronics, like fabrics or metals?

A4: Some methods may be universal, such as baking soda and activated charcoal, but always check the care instructions for different material types.

Q5: Will the smoke smell eventually dissipate on its own?

A5: Smoke smell may reduce over time, but without intervention, it is unlikely to disappear completely as the particles can penetrate deeply into plastic components.